Friday, January 2, 2015

Pregnancy after Miscarriage

The most comforting thing I've had said to me about miscarriage and pregnancy after miscarriage was spoken by a male doctor who (at the time) had been in in the business so long he had delivered at least one of my siblings.

When I came in after most of the bleeding from the miscarriage had stopped, he did an ultrasound to make sure that everything had vacated my womb, and then before he left me to clean up and compose myself before going to the check-out desk, he sat down, asked me if my husband and I were planning on trying again soon, to which I answered "yes! as soon as possible!"

He gave me a time frame in which to let my body heal, and then, looking me squarely in the face, said very simply, "The only thing this miscarriage is going to affect with your next pregnancy is your nerves."

That one sentence has stuck with me more than I can describe. In it he said, "You're fertile. You can get pregnant again. You should have no problem carrying a healthy baby to term. This wasn't your fault."

God has been amazingly good to me this past year. In it I've experienced his goodness in the most harrowing time I've ever known. After the miscarriage he carried me, held me, comforted me, placed people in my life to comfort me, showed me how he'd experienced the loss of his Son on my behalf, and when month after month of trying passed with no pregnancy, he taught me patience and how to rejoice with other mothers. In fact the month before I found out I was actually pregnant I finally had to give my jealousy to him and rejoice with a close friend of mine. Her announcement made me cry, but for the first time, I was able to be happy with her without thinking "That should be me!"

I'm not saying I learned to trust God in every way before he opened my womb again. I'm just saying, I saw a divine peace invading my soul when I very much wanted to hold onto my jealousy and hurt.

The month God placed life in my womb again, I was fairly certain it had happened almost right away, but didn't want to hope until the pregnancy test came out positive. I wanted my hope to be in my salvation through Christ, not whether or not I was finally pregnant this month. The test came out positive and through my joy, I immediately experienced fear. Michael told me he, too, was fearful. We prayed a lot. Then we told our parents.

I had decided before I became pregnant that the next time I was pregnant I wanted to announce the pregnancy as soon as I was pregnant, because it's God's doing that there's a life in there. I wanted to give him the glory, and express my belief that life really does begin at conception. Each life should be celebrated immediately, if it really and truly is life, I told myself.

However, once I got pregnant, my fear made me want to clam my mouth shut, just in case. I didn't want to tell people and then have to tell them that I'd lost another baby. Within the first week, I let maybe 3 or 4 people know outside of family. They became my prayer community.

Fear continued to stand in the corner of the room and stare at me for the next several weeks, even after I had conviction from God that I wasn't glorifying him as I should and started telling people that I was pregnant again. Every time I went to the bathroom and saw there was no blood in my underwear, I had a small moment of worship. Each symptom that cropped up was a blessing. I thanked God when I felt nauseated. I worried when I didn't feel nauseated. On really fearful days when all fear would do was perch on my shoulder and whisper in my ear, I'd text my prayer buddies a line such as "Having a fearful day today. Please pray." and I'd get wonderful texts back saying they were interceding before the throne of God for me. It is such a blessing to have prayer warriors as friends. Fear would recede to the corner again, or sometimes leave the room altogether.

My first doctor's appointment and ultrasound were fearful events. Michael came with me. I had a blood pressure rate through the roof because I was so nervous and he talked at me non-stop while we waited. Then we saw the baby, right on track with where it should be, hear the heart beat, so strong and healthy sounding. I cried in the car, and quite a few times after that. Michael said he preferred these happy tears.

All this being said, even though I'm almost 14 weeks, there are times I realize I'm still unconsciously checking for blood. I would say fear has pretty much left the room. It's faded since the first ultrasound, but that doctor was right. The only thing I have experienced in spades, thanks to my miscarriage, is fear. Each week that I've gotten to past 6 weeks has been a small celebration. Feeling my uterus pop above my pelvic bone has been beautiful. Seeing and listening to my baby's heart beat twice has moved me to tears both times.

God has been exceptionally good, in carrying me through the miscarriage, and in carrying me through the nerves of this second pregnancy. While I would never wish a miscarriage on anyone, especially their first baby, I can say that had it not happened, I would be a lesser person today. I would love God less, I would love my husband less, I would love this baby less, I would be less compassionate.

I still have a ways to go both in pregnancy and in learning to love God, but God will be there with me every single step of the way, and so will my husband. :) I think I'm covered pretty well.

Soli Deo Gloria

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